How to Listen in Conflict

 

Remember playing tug-of-war? Two teams tugging at each end to get the other team to cross the line in the middle? That’s how I felt this week. I felt like the rope. How do you practice discernment when you feel like the rope?

  1. Pray.
  2. Listen first to each side, carefully weighing and sifting through the facts. Put aside your emotions.
  3. Be careful of opinions. They may be the wrong ones.
  4. Be kind and compassionate.
  5. You don’t have to take sides, and when you do have to make a decision, go back to number 2.

Romans 12:18-19 comes to mind,

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

This week I learned how to be a peacemaker. I learned to listen better. These lessons I write on my heart and it will take me into ministry when I am fully funded. God is using this season in my life to teach me things I’ll need when serving in ministry.

To become a monthly financial partner (it’s tax deductible), go here. Create a partner account and choose my name as the person you’d like to support. I would love to have you on my team. 

What is Coordinating?

Managing or coordinating someone else’s brand on social media is time-consuming, especially when your intention with its social media is ultimately digital discipleship. Recently, I posted a comic by Calvin and Hobbes. It went like this:

Hobbes: “Do you have an idea for your project yet?” 

Calvin: “No, I’m waiting for inspiration. You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.” 

Hobbes: “What mood is that?” 

Calvin: “Last minute panic.” 

Interpretation is up to the reader.

For me, it verbalized what coordinating social media is like when your posts are dependent upon content from people all over the world. My goal is to post twice a day each week. This requires being on social media to scavenge for stories that reflect the WorldVenture story and appeals to the reader. Social media is a tool in the belt of any worker for discipleship, influence, mentoring, etc. My efforts follow daily prayer.

This week, I focused on Venezuela. Because it has been in the news, getting our workers’ stories in front of it means the story has the potential to trend without paying for advertising dollars. Case in point: When a church posted the word Starbucks on their social media, their organic reach was higher than just talking about coffee. WorldVenture is a non-profit. If we can save ad dollars by sharing our workers’ stories around trending topics online, we can help our country and our world understand missions, be more attune to more biased news stories, and grow a compassionate heart. Because WorldVenture is a non-profit, I am considered a supported staffer.

A supported staffer is the same as a worker who must raise the monthly support to do the work needed for a nonprofit like WorldVenture. We aren’t going anywhere outside the country unless for specific assignments, and our work is now, rather than later. This means I am both appointee and worker; unfunded and still serving in some capacity in the job description while working a full-time day job.

I am also a pioneer that believes digital discipleship is the way to go and train nonprofits and churches in Christian ministry to utilize their volunteers and congregations to serve online rather than do what they’ve done historically–leave it to the pastors and missionaries to do the outreach and the 20% who do 80% of the work in church. In serving with WorldVenture, I am also revamping their social media usage little by little to use it as digital discipleship among other things.

“Last minute panic” is a constant state for me. Maybe it’s not really panic as it is a tension to work with the varied schedules across the globe, sensitive areas, and coordinating blogs, social media, and digital discipleship on a weekly basis.

Meanwhile, after my overnight trip to Indiana, I have time freed up to focus again. If you would like to have me fly out or video conference in to talk about what I do, please email me: nikolehahn (at) thehahnhuntinglodge.com. Help me get exposure or even consider support. Help me mobilize the churches to serve online. Go here to learn more: www.worldventure.com/nhahn or here to give monthly www.worldventure.com/give.

3 Things to Consider When Posting on Social Media @WorldVenture #SMtips

This week, I began to serve at least a small portion of my new job description as a Digital Engagement and Disciple-Making Coordinator with WorldVenture. Crafting social media posts are a time-consuming and thoughtful endeavor. Here are 3 things to consider when posting for an organization such as WorldVenture:

  • Disciple-making doesn’t just happen in the face-to-face world. The definition of discipleship is a Christian who teaches and trains. I like to use the word mentoring, too. When you disciple someone, you are mentoring them. Creating posts for social media means understanding the influence of social media and using that post for more than marketing a missionary organization. A post can influence someone to serve, to change, to read the Bible more, or even to become a believer. Follow that up with immediate communication on a post, and you start to build relationships online.
  • Don’t narrow your vision. A lack of vision at your church and organization can truly limit your scope of reach. Even people who are techies like me can become too focused on just the technology. Face-to-face must accompany online efforts. Teamwork and unity among believers are important. Speaking of teamwork…
  • Christian business and Christian ministry need to work together, not in competition. Some competition in business is healthy, but without angel investors and mentors, a Christian business person will struggle. Christian ministry should never have competition. Churches should help someone find a fellowship of faith even if it is another church. A ministry should name their organizations to encourage working together, not an attitude of, “We are doing it better than anyone else.” God is a creative God. We feel like we are dreaming big, but God’s plans are bigger than anything we can imagine.

Bottom line: If churches partner with their missionary organization for training and missions and evangelism, imagine the reach of the Gospel then? That’s what I’m working on with WorldVenture–a way for churches (small and big, house or regular church) to get help in training their congregations and staff in cross-cultural ministry. The world is already here. Immigration, refugees, and international students have flooded the American landscape. With just 7-20% of the 70% measurably practicing their Christian faith in America, we are in desperate need of God. We are also in desperate need of people willing to think outside the box when it comes to missions. Of course, the question becomes, do we even need to use the word, Evangelism anymore? So many people are from other cultures, and with access to other cultures online, it feels that everything is missions.

Thoughts? 

**Support for this supported staff position with WorldVenture: 34%/100% funded. Go here to begin a monthly, quarterly, or annual financial commitment (tax-deductible). 

Did You Get a Letter From Me?

You might be asking, “What do I do with this?” 

You were one of 100 letters mailed out in the last few weeks. You might be a church, individual, or business. Whoever you are, here are some suggestions on what to do with that letter:

  • Pray as I serve in this transition between working a day job and working full-time ministry with WorldVenture. In the midst of raising a full years support to be cleared to serve with WorldVenture, I am also working on necessary reports for 2019 social media strategy, managing The Bible Study Project, and setting up Roots Writers and Social Media Critique Group as its own entity as I co-lead it with Sherry Rossman. I’m also attending conferences and keeping up with education to stay relevant in social media.
  • Consider support. Please. Most non-profits do not have someone JUST doing their social media. Most people running a non-profits social media are also doing other things, like pastoring. This supported-staff position with WorldVenture enables WorldVenture to jump into the world of digital discipleship in partnership with you. You would be helping a missionary organization. Whatever the Lord puts on your heart whether that is $8/month or $100/month. Click here to begin that process. Or, feel free to check me out. Contact WorldVenture. Email me to set up a video conference or invite me out to meet you. I am willing to travel. You are also helping the 500 plus workers and partner churches, allies, and individuals understand digital discipleship.
  • Support us because digital discipleship shouldn’t be an individual effort. We should work together to share the Gospel with unreached people groups. The sooner I get to full-time ministry, the sooner work can begin to develop these things. My time is limited now to before or after a 40-hour a week day job.

Thank you for your anticipated support. Thank you for your prayers. Don’t forget to sign up to receive my prayer newsletter.

3 Ways We Are Limiting Ourselves

When someone like Bill Gates presents a list of books he is reading this summer, people pay attention. More importantly, his choices influence others towards his worldview. The church, in general, according to some sources are losing its influence on the world. This trend can change, but only if we stop limiting ourselves.

Fast Company wrote,

“One of the world’s most revered painters and thinkers was largely self-taught and didn’t let the technological restrictions of 500 years ago limit his conjectures about how the world around him might work.” Bill Gates suggested a book about Leonardo DaVinci. Recently, a pastor at a local church shared his own book suggestions.

Pastors and people like me are expected to share what they are reading, even our faith journeys through reading the Bible, but as I explore digital discipleship and talk to people about supporting WorldVenture by supporting my position within WorldVenture, I find unusual roadblocks in sharing the vision of digital discipleship.

  • People get an opportunity to share their faith and, like handling a hot potato, try to give it to someone else more qualified quickly. Maybe they doubt their own capabilities and lack some confidence? My typical response: Trust in the Holy Spirit to give you an answer in your conversations. There’s no harm in saying, “Let me get back to you on that.” Come to the conversation as a learner, too. Learn together. Friend them online. You don’t need to have all the answers right now.
  • Ageism. A recent article about Liv Tyler reported how she feels like a second-class citizen in Hollywood. The roles for top movies go to much younger actresses. 32 and 38-years of age are considered “old” according to that article. Age and how people view age affect even the church. Our Senior Adults hold a special place in my heart. We are quickly losing their wisdom as the age gap widens between them and the younger crowd. Social Media gives our Senior Adults an opportunity to remind their grandchildren and “spiritual children” about their faith journeys and that God is indeed real and alive. When the topic is brought up about social media, many back away from it. Social sites like Facebook and Instagram are not just a way to see what the others are doing, but a chance to interact, share our faith and have real conversations. Refrain from automatically hitting the share button. Share your story. Be you. Be personal. Learn how to be discerning in what you share.
  • “We’ve Always Done it This Way Before.” In the article by Fast Company, the quote that struck me the most was how Leonardo Da Vinci, “…didn’t let the technological restrictions of 500 years ago limit his conjectures about how the world around him might work.” Many digital discipleship programs are showing up on the web. The church doesn’t lack the opportunities to learn digital discipleship, but many, many ministry leaders all share the same roadblocks to mobilizing their church. Social media is polarizing. People go from anger to apathy regarding its use in missions and evangelism. I’m interested in teaching our partner churches, allies, and individuals to team up with their church and have their church team up with WorldVenture (or other missionary organization) for a massive movement of discipleship–unity in one purpose. Teaching the solid Christians within the church, mobilizing the retired missionaries to think about serving from home using that knowledge they have gained, and connecting those who know a second language. Don’t limit yourself. Continue to live with hands open to whatever and wherever God leads you.

Bill Gates shares his summer reading list. A pastor or worker may share their reading list, thus creating solid, online conversations. What about sharing your reading list this year? What about sharing what you are learning to tease out some conversation about tough topics? The world is changing. Church and missionary organization should work together for greater results. Tap into the knowledge of social media experts and start with the small stuff.

Your first step should be in prayer.

**If you feel led to support this work, please go to this link to start your financial partnership today. You can also use the contact form here to send me a message and arrange a meeting to talk more about this supported staff role. I am only at 34% support. I cannot serve this new role with WorldVenture without full funding. Help me and you help WorldVenture and its workers. Contact me for a full list of duties this new role has for me to do. 

 

3 Reasons Why You Should Get Involved in Social Media

I shared with 50 women at Grace Baptist Church’s Women’s Luncheon on May 5:

  • Pastors of less than 100 congregants are usually bi-vocational.
  • When a pastor says he is part-time, he is being paid for part-time, but working full time.
  • Depending on where you get your data, there is 1 missionary for every 200,000 to 400,000 people. That is a lot of friend requests on Facebook. It is difficult to give that many people (if not impossible) quality interaction.
  • The church is still polarized regarding social media.
  • Average 300-people churches don’t have a large staff. Therefore, it is difficult for one pastor to do both discipleship and run a church by himself.
  • Shared about my new role with WorldVenture. It is not uncommon for non-profit organizations to have their social media person do multiple duties. This supported position is important as my duties focus solely on social media and technology, including mobilizing the church to serve online in missions alongside WorldVenture.
  • A generation gap is widening. In our post-Christian generation, we need our Senior Adults online more than ever.

Here are the main 3 reasons to get involved with social media and technology:

  1. Missions need all of us involved in discipleship. Every Bible-believing church. Every solid Christian.
  2. Lack of discernment and vision is destroying American Christianity. American Christianity is losing influence. With only 7-20% of Americans measurably active in their Christian faith and Bible illiteracy reining, using social media for teaching and discipling is a priority.
  3. People move from different countries. They have retired from missions. They know a second or third language. Family relationships are international. People in church like this are important for online discipleship and sharing of the Gospel.

**To ask me to speak to your church, please email me or leave a comment. You can send a comment through here: www.worldventure.com/nhahn

Saying Goodbye

Today, I began the process of ending a ministry I began in 2014 called, Cataclysm Missions Intl LLC. The bank account will be closing this week. I’ve closed all its social media. The website will be taken down. Incorp, my registered agent, is doing the paperwork to terminate the LLC with the State of Arizona. Like a pattern for a new outfit, I created it to show WorldVenture what digital discipleship could look like, and now it has accomplished that mission. I say goodbye to it with peace in my heart.

My new role with WorldVenture can be read here: www.worldventure.com/nhahn.

I will write more about it. Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures from Saturday’s speaking engagement at Grace Baptist Church in Chino Valley, Arizona.

 

Don’t Close Down Your Facebook

People are asking, “Should I get rid of Facebook?” 

More than once, I observe a Facebook group conversation that begins with a simple post like asking how it is living in a state or sharing an amazing photograph, and somehow it becomes a political argument; a fountain of negativity spewing forth and inspiring reactions.

The difference between reaction and response is defined. Reaction is instant with no time to think. A response comes more slowly as you weigh your words. I encourage myself and others to respond and respond in line with the topic of the conversation thread. If politics isn’t mentioned, why bring it up? In the spirit of friendship, stay on topic, be kind, and start a conversation.

And don’t close down your Facebook. 

Be the light in a dark culture. Have meaningful conversations and pursue those conversations. Don’t give up. Set boundaries with your time online. Because life is too short for the majority of your time to be spent in the virtual. Spend some of it outside.

Like we did today…building up our marriage, loving each other, and worshiping God…

Like Owning a Truck…

An old saying goes like this, “When you own a truck, you always have friends” (or something like that). Meaning, everyone knows the truck owners in the neighborhood. They are called when a need arises to transport furniture. Bumper stickers on trucks protest: “Yes, this is my truck; No, I won’t help you move.” As a technologist with WorldVenture, I often get asked for help with online marketing. The line between ministry and being helpful is often blurred.

Helping businesses with marketing is a great service, especially if that business is Christian-owned. But this calling is more than about helping a business succeed. With limited time on my hands, I have to make choices. As my schedule becomes tighter, I have less time open to meeting with Christian business owners seeking to learn only marketing, not ministry. With working a 40-hour a week day job and managing various projects and websites, I barely have time to take care of my marriage and myself.

I’m not complaining. I love that I can help another, but now I have to watch the time I use every week. If the business is open to partnering with their church in their church’s mission and vision in connecting with their local and global community, I am eager to help. I am eager to share that vision and help them reach their business and ministry goals.  But like the truck owners, someone has to pay for the gas. 

2018 is going to see some changes in that I must focus on my various projects and websites, helping missionaries, churches, and missionary organizations, and only those who are doing business as missions. For now, I must guard my time to ensure that I am doing what God has called me to do, continue to raise 100% support as I am accountable to WorldVenture, take care of my spiritual and physical self, and take care of my marriage. I can recommend a person who teaches social media for business owners. I have made arrangements to refer people I cannot help to this person.

Thank you for your overall support and understanding of this issue. I’m on Day 4 of 30 days of prayer on my Facebook page. Will you consider partnering with me on a monthly basis as a church, individual, or business? Go here to learn more: www.worldventure.com/nhahn